Urban Planning: Key Priorities

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City of Newcastle's (CN) Urban Planning Team are preparing the strategic documents required as a result of changes to the  Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) which came in to place in 2018.

The updated Act requires us to review the Local Environmental Plan, prepare a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) and develop a Community Participation Plan. The Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 requires a Housing Strategy to be completed at the same time as the LSPS.

Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) 

CN has prepared a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS). This sets out the 20 year vision for land use in the local area, the special character and values that are to be preserved and how change will be managed into the future.

Initial consultation was undertaken in September 2019 and the draft LSPS was publicly exhibited in February/March 2020. The LSPS was adopted by Council in May 2020.

It is viewable on the NSW Planning Portal at:

Community Participation Plan (CPP) 

Preparation of a Community Participation Plan is a legislative requirement under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act 1979). Our CPP is now operational. It covers how and when the City of Newcastle will engage with the community across the planning functions it performs under the EP&A Act 1979.  Planning functions include plan making and making decisions on proposed development. Please refer to the plan for revised participation requirements.

The Hunter Regional Plan and Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 (adopted in September 2018) have the following key priorities for CN.

Housing Strategy  

The Housing Strategy will provide the detail for housing directions identified in the LSPS. It will tie CN’s vision for housing with State government led strategic plans and present our response for how the housing component of the Regional Plan will be delivered in Newcastle over the next 20 years.

The ‘Newcastle Housing Needs and Local Character Evidence Report’ has now been completed and will contribute to the draft strategy.  Feedback will be sought from the community during the consultation stage in the second half of 2020. The final strategy is due for completion late 2020, with the local character assessment to be undertaken in 2021.

Review of Newcastle Employment Lands Strategy

The current Newcastle Employment Lands Strategy (November 2019) has been reviewed and updated. The updated Employment Lands Strategy was placed on public exhibition with the draft Local Strategic Planning Statement in February 2020.

Catalyst Area Program

The Catalyst Area Program is a collaborative approach between the City of Newcastle and state agencies in delivering new jobs and homes in areas identified within the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan.

In 2020 the program will seek to achieve the following priorities:

  • Work together with Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation and key State Government agencies in preparing land use and infrastructure plan for the Broadmeadow Sport and Entertainment Precinct and surrounding land within the Broadmeadow/Hamilton North Catalyst Area.
  • Develop a strategic framework to implement a coordinated approach to the implementation of infrastructure and transport planning across all catalyst areas and Urban Renewal Corridors, as well as identifying opportunities and interventions for delivering growth in housing and employment.

City of Newcastle will also continue to provide ongoing input and support into the land use, transport and infrastructure planning work underway within the following catalyst areas:

  • Newcastle City Centre, with the implementation of actions identified with the Wickham Master Plan, final stages of Honeysuckle, expansion of the University of Newcastle City Campus, and other redevelopment projects.
  • John Hunter Hospital Campus, being coordinated by Hunter New England Health.
  • Callaghan, to plan potential land use opportunities within the University of Newcastle Campus and surrounding areas.
  • Port of Newcastle, to protect and support the long-term viability and diversification of port related activity
  • Beresfield-Black Hill employment lands, to maximise opportunities for the development of light industrial uses within the new economy, and related to freight and logistics.
  • Kotara, to investigate opportunities for delivering major privately funded infrastructure intervention through an integrated transport orientated development solution.

Wickham Master Plan Implementation

Actions identified within the Wickham Master Plan that are key priorities for Urban Planning to achieve in 2020 include:

  • Introduction of a Community Infrastructure Development Incentives Scheme by means of introducing a local clause within Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012 to enable Council to develop standards under certain circumstances in addition to existing provisions. Details on where and how development incentives are achieved will be within the Newcastle Development Control Plan 2012.
  • Investigation of options to address mine subsidence risk that currently impede on the redevelopment opportunities and feasibility in parts of Wickham.
  • Preparation of a Public Domain Plan, to inform the City Centre Public Domain Technical Manual for land in Wickham, items for inclusion in the Schedule of Works in the Section 7.12 Local Infrastructure Contribution Plan, and to inform future works within the ten year forward works program.


The Heritage Strategy (2013- 2017) is in the process of being updated and the draft will be publicly exhibited in mid 2020.

The review of Heritage items and Heritage Conservation Areas is ongoing, although largely complete as amendments to the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012 to create two new heritage conservation areas and adjustments to the boundaries of three existing heritage conservation areas have been made by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.  The public exhibition for the listing of Parkway Avenue as a heritage item in the Newcastle Local Environmental Plan 2012 was recently completed and is recommended for adoption at 26 May 2020 Ordinary Council Meeting.  Visit the Heritage page to find out more.


Local Infrastructure Contributions

The City of Newcastle has two types of Contribution Plans. These are referred to as Section 7.11 and 7.12 Local Infrastructure Contributions plans (previously known as Section 94 and 94A under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act 1979)).  Both Plans are under review to ensure they reflect infrastructure needs and costs, and are consistent with changes to legislation.
For detail on contributions and planning agreements visit contributions and planning agreements.

Planning Proposals

A planning proposal is prepared to consider amendments to the Local Environmental Plan. CN has a number of current planning proposals at different stages of the process.  The five main stages to a planning proposal are:

  1. The Planning Proposal – the planning proposal authority prepares the planning proposal. The planning proposal authority is usually the local council.
  2. Gateway – the Minister (or delegate) decides whether the planning proposal can proceed (with or without variation) and subject to other matters including further studies being undertaken, public consultation, public hearings, agency consultation and time frames.
  3. Community Consultation – the proposal is publicly exhibited as required by the Minister. A person making a submission may also request a public hearing be held.
  4. Assessment – the planning proposal authority reviews public submissions. Parliamentary Counsel then prepares a draft local environmental plan. 
  5. The making of the LEP – with the Minister’s (or delegate’s) approval, the local environmental plan is published on the NSW legislation website and becomes law.
See Department of Planning and Environment’s website for CN’s current Planning Proposals.


Have Your Say

There will be many opportunities for the community and key stakeholders to have their say with the above projects.